The fourth edition of the InCube Challenge is a creative competition for entrepreneurially-minded students, took place on September 14-18, 2020 in Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps. Over four days, five students lived together in mountain huts and worked intensively on a temporally relevant problem. The expectations were high: during the course of a few days only, they had to transform their ideas into a prototype and a business plan as a base for further development after InCube. This year, the teams were split in different mountain huts instead of the traditional glass cubes from the previous editions. The main sponsors of the InCube and OutCube projects are the Department of Economic Promotion of the Association of Municipalities of Crans-Montana, the two polytechnical universities EPFL and ETHZ, and the Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation.
The pressure is on
Just like last year, the participants for 2020 underwent a rigorous selection process. From countless applications, the most promising and motivated twenty were chosen. Applicants who could integrate themselves the best in this type of challenge and have relevant background knowledge were prioritised. In July, the participants started the educational online program PrepCube, where they assessed their knowledge and learned more about crucial concepts of entrepreneurship, design thinking and innovation at their own pace.
Furthermore, in order to continue preparing the participants for the challenge, they had the opportunity to spend the weekend before also in Crans-Montana for the OutCube workshops. There they learned the most important concepts of the event, which facilitated the creative process during the InCube Challenge. Amongst other things, they learned how to efficiently produce a prototype and pitch their idea. The Association des Communes de Crans-Montana provided them with a startup-friendly environment, and multiple experts in entrepreneurship animated these 3 days of workshops. OutCube was a truly unique place to push participants’ creativity, build friendships, and bring the group closer together. The weekend ended with the presentation of the solution proposed by each team to answer the mini-challenge proposed by Association des communes de Crans-Montana (ACCM): “Changing the nature of Crans- Montana: how to shift from an exclusive tourist destination to one of the tech epicenters of the world?”.